Budget blues and global cues hit Indian stocks hard

March 8th, 2008 - 4:48 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sensex
(Weekly Market Review)

Mumbai, March 8 (IANS) The Indian equities market was battered by weak global market and budget blues this week. The hike in short term capital gains tax in the 2008-09 budget did not go well with the capital market at all. The 30-share sensitive index of the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Sensex, fell in three out of four trading sessions in the week. The market was closed Thursday on account of Shivratri.

By the end of the week, the Sensex had lost 1,603.20 points or 9.12 percent to end at 15,975.52. The S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange declined 451.9 points or 8.65 percent to 4,771.60 in the week. The BSE Mid-Cap index fell 876 points or 11.4 percent to 6,804.39. The BSE Small-Cap index slumped 1,218.95 points or 12.66 percent.

Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net buyers of shares worth Rs.17.33 billion in February. But overall in 2008, by March 4 they were net sellers worth Rs.127.03 billion. Mutual funds bought shares worth Rs.5.14 billion in February.

The selling pressure last week was unabated and right across sectors, mirroring the weakness in the global stock markets. The Sensex tumbled 900.84 points or 5.12 percent to 16,677.88 Monday, March 3 2008, registering its second biggest single day loss. It was also the Sensex’s second biggest single day fall in percentage terms, with 26 out of 30 stocks that form the Sensex pack ending in the red.

A global sell-off was triggered after weak US data the Friday before fuelled worries that there are more write-downs to come.

Budget blues hit the Sensex Tuesday as it lost 337.99 points or 2.03 percent to end at 16,339.89. Banking and realty stocks were worst hit. Auto stocks bucked the bearish trend. Of the 30 stocks in the Sensex, 19 ended in the red.

On Wednesday, though, the stock market bucked the trend with a late surge. The Sensex rose 202.19 points or 1.24 percent to close at 16,542.08. Volatility was high. Index heavyweight Reliance Industries witnessed an upward momentum at the fag end of the trading day.

After the holiday Thursday, trading opened Friday with a major fall, thanks to a surge in inflation, weak global cues and concern over the stability of the central government.

The Sensex fell 566.56 points or 3.42 percent to end the week at 15,975.52. All the sectoral indices were in the red. Reliance Energy was the biggest loser from the Sensex pack.

India’s second largest power utility by revenue Reliance Energy plunged 18.99 percent to Rs.1,270. On Wednesday, the company’s board had approved buyback of shares worth up to Rs.20 billion at a maximum price of Rs.1,600 per share.

India’s largest oil refiner by market capitalisation Reliance Industries fell 8.52 percent to Rs.2,248.80.

India’s largest private sector bank by net profit ICICI Bank declined 18.17 percent to Rs.892.75, despite the bank clarifying that it has no direct or indirect exposure to the US sub-prime credit market. However, ICICI Bank has lost $264 million in its overseas operations due to the subprime mortgage crisis.

Reports that the inflation rate was on an upward curve also led to the fall of the stock market this week.

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